The Southern Grind Knife Company’s Bad Monkey knife is a hell of a knife and that’s why It’s being highlighted today. Sure lots of knives can be great and we have featured many of them here on the site, Emerson, Kershaw, Gerber and many other top brands, but this one is just inches ahead of the pack. Before we dig into why it’s so great and is my new daily carry knife, lets look at the company itself.

The Southern Grind Knife Company is owned by Zac Brown, the frontman and namesake of The Zac Brown Band, a popular country music group based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The company was founded in 2009 by Zac Brown to produce knives that are built to be “both ruggedly dependable and highly functional”.  The company currently only makes eight models of knives, but they are all 100% designed in house and manufactured in Peachtree City, Georgia.

The specific knife I was sent to test and evaluate by our good friends over at Spotter Up Tactical is the Bad Monkey Tanto Serrated. This knife is packed with features and honestly has replaced the Emerson CQC15 Mini that was my daily carry knife up until a few weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong I like the Emerson but sometimes an upstart comes along and makes you rethink how you do things. Lets check out the specifications and figure out why I’m so high on this knife.

Southern Grind Bad Monkey Knife Review

Bad Monkey Specifications:

Style: Folding Knife

Length: 9.125 Inches

Blade Length: 3.875 Inches

Blade Width: .130″

Blade Steel: 14C-28N

Hardness of Blade: RC 59-61

Blade Finish: Cerakote Armor Black

Available Blade Types: Modified Tanto, Modified Tanto Serrated, Drop Point, Drop Point Serrated

Handle Length: 5.25 Inches

Handle Material: Twill Weave Carbon Fiber Panels

Liner Type and Material: 6 AL4V Titanium

Weight: 4.97 Ounces

Country of Origin: United States of America

Other Features:

  • Emerson Wave opening system, Custom models available via special order feature on company web site.
  • Lifetime Warranty


  • Military
  • Law Enforcement
  • Outdoorsman
  • Anyone who appreciates a well built knife

MSRP: $265.00


  • Great looks
  • Tested and proven one handed opening system
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Ability to special order
  • Incredibly strong blade and lock system


  • Cost
Southern Grind Bad Monkey Knife Review
CQC15 is noticeably smaller than the Bad Monkey


When this knife arrived I was already very happy with my Emerson CQC15 mini which was my daily carry and I had no intentions of changing. That position began to change when I opened the box from Spotter Up Tactical and first laid eyes on the Bad Monkey Tanto. I’ve owned a few nice knives over the years so I’m use to what a high quality handle should feel like. I’m no knife handle guru but I know what I like and it’s hard to explain what “feels” good until I hold it in my hands.

Almost instantly upon opening the box you can tell the Bad Monkey is a large knife, in fact it is considerably larger than the Emerson CQC-15 Mini I had been use to carrying. Once the Bad Money was  removed from the box I gripped it and realized the job and wonder of the twill weave carbon fiber grip panels. It’s an odd feeling to describe, its smooth and yet has a good amount of grip, but its not like stippling or anything. The weave of the carbon fiber itself is what lends to the grip of the knife. Southern Grind was scoring high marks right out of the box for sure.

Southern Grind Bad Monkey Knife Review
Sandvik 14C28 Stainless Steel Blade

Blade Specs:

The blade is the heart of any knife, and the Bad Monkey Modified Tanto bladeis an impressive piece of steel. My version of the Bad Monkey came with a partially serrated blade coated in Black Armor Cerakote. I’m familiar with Cerakote but never have owned or used a piece of gear with it’s coating applied, so this was a new experience. The modified tanto shares some of the same design qualities of the Emerson CQC15 Mini so that was reassuring to me. It made of Sandvik 14C28 Stainless Steel and scores a RC 59-61 in testing. Its a durable metal that will hold a razor edge even with moderate use and abuse.

The one thing that really stood out to me about the Bad Monkey vs the CQC15 Mini is how much easier the Bad Monkey is to deploy that the Emerson. Now I love my Emerson but the Bad Monkey just was effortless when I swung it open with the thumb stud. Again slight edge to Southern Grind and the Bad Monkey. I will mention that Southern Grind incorporates the patented Emerson Eave in the design of this knife, so going head to head with the CQC15 its a tie.

Southern Grind Bad Monkey Knife Review
Southern Grind Logo

Pocket Clips:

Southern Grind made this knife with a short but pronounced pocket clip that features their logo on it. At first I was wondering if this clip wouldn’t adequately hold the knife in place since it was so much smaller than the Emerson clip. A few days into the evaluation period I realized this worry was unfounded. The only semi negative thing I can say about the clip is that it is not reversible, but then again neither is the one on the CQC15.

Field Tests:

I used this knife just like I did the CQC15 it was possibly replacing, I used it on job sites, to cut boxes, open packaging, and slicing up vegetables at dinner to be honest. I wanted to cut and slice as many things as I could with it to see how sharp it was and how it handled. The Bad Monkey sliced quickly and cleanly threw everything, including my gloves. It’s a beast of a knife yet incredibly light weight and nice looking. I feel bad that the Cerakote on the blade  will eventually get beaten and abused. The guys at Southern Grind have a video that I linked below about some of the abuse they put the knife threw. I however will never do that sort of test.

If that’s not good enough proof for you go to the Southern Ground You Tube site at the link below and see the things they use the Bad Monkey to cut threw, it’s comical yet a serious display of the blades strength and what you can do with the knife in an emergency situation.

We hope that you enjoyed this look at my new carry knife, the Bad Monkey Modified Tanto by Southern Grind Knives, if you are in the market for a truly special, durable and good looking knife that will last a lifetime this knife should be on your list. Yes it isn’t cheap but as I learned the hard way “Buy Once, Cry Once”.

Be sure to drop us a line in the comments section if you have any questions on gear, gadgets, or guns, someone will get back to you and get to the bottom of your inquiry.



Link to Southern Ground You Tube